Listening Sessions: Using Data Systems to Prioritize Equity in a Time of Crisis

Listening Sessions

All In collaboration members are on the front lines of this crisis and many are identifying surprising new ways to make systems work for people, even as their communities are already stressed by economic hardship and inequities.

At DASH and within All In, we are in a unique position to help think about the future. While we are not on the front lines ourselves, we can collect, collate, and promote what is working and what isn’t. We want to learn from your stories, share them with others, and begin to co-create a national conversation about policy and systems changes for a post-COVID nation.

COVID’s disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations, putting other disparities into focus through data. On Friday, May 29, 2020, All In hosted a second Listening Session titled “Using Data Systems to Prioritize Equity in a Time of Crisis” to share lessons and experiences related to COVID-19. The Listening Session provided a virtual space for 62 attendees where participants learned from one another about what is working in response to COVID.

What you said

Community Representation in Decision-Making

Lauren Pennachio of Health Leads’ Bay Area Learning Initiative spoke on the Housing is Health Project. The Housing is Health Project is a cross-sector, multi-county, community-informed collaborative that is led by community members with a conscientious overrepresentation of community voice in leadership and decision-making for managing housing during COVID and beyond. The importance of housing during the COVID-19 Pandemic is evident, so the project aims to use data to underscore that there is not enough housing or resources made available. To make the housing landscape more navigable, the project is streamlining resource information and data affiliated with available resources.

COVID-19 Toolbox for Vulnerable Populations

Epidemiologist Amy Laurent from Seattle King County talked about the importance of prioritizing community voice even in crisis. They created a COVID toolbox that helped vulnerable populations advocate for services in their communities.

The group created a COVID-19 toolbox for vulnerable populations so individuals could access information about their communities. Dashboards are developed in Tableau and briefs are delivered to community members for review to determine if the data is accurately reflecting the community.

Data Sharing During COVID

Accelerated by COVID-induced needs data sharing looks a little different during this crisis. The group in Seattle King County uses administrative data, quantitative data, and qualitative data from key informant interviews or calls. It was noted that some data is shared willingly and without a data-sharing agreement while other data require a data-sharing agreement. In one case, Amy Laurent speaks on reaching an agreement in 3 days, that would otherwise take months:

and overcoming other barriers to data:

The rapid completion and implementation of a data-sharing agreement may indicate the spreading recognition of the importance of public health.

Ensuring Equitable Testing

Barry Keppard, Director of the Public Health Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), is working on ensuring COVID testing in Massachusetts is done in a safe and equitable fashion:

Keppard observes, “When times are tough, vulnerable people are hurt the most. When times are good, the people hurt the most are often served the least.”

Contact tracing with vulnerable populations [VIDEO #7] is proving to be a challenge. It’s important to be culturally aware and build trust within the community. Part of establishing trust within the community means not just being a taker, but being a giver as well. Bi-directional dialogue will build trust in the community. In some communities, the local health departments are having conversations to figure out how to get community members to be the lead in contact tracing.

Greg Bloom shared ideas for a memorial project for victims of COVID. What does collective grief and communal mourning look like? What does it look like in a virtual space as we reach the 100,000 mark? Posts from individuals who have lost someone from the Coronavirus would be aggregated and packaged into a slideshow for projection events in cities around the nation. We recognize and are sensitive to the perpetual mourning of our nation as we are experiencing this trauma. [VIDEO #8]. Also in recognition to those who have been affected by COVID-19, The Daily offered a podcast that was dedicated to reading the names and communities of those impacted by the virus, which was recommended by Lih-Lan Hu here.

COVID-19 is not a moment [VIDEO #9]. We continue to find ways to leverage existing relationships in our communities to influence long-term policy issues that will result in lasting, equitable change. DASH, as part of All In, is interested in how we understand and build on those lessons, and then how we can work together to move into an action space for policy and systems change. We encourage you to keep the conversation going in the COVID-19 community on the All In Online Community platform.

Check out the complete video here.

All In Listening Session: Using Data Systems to Prioritize Equity in a Time of Crisis from AllInData4Health on Vimeo.

Want to join our next Listening Session? All In Listening Session #3: Community Networks and Connectivity in a Time of Crisis will be held on Friday, June 26, from 1 – 2 pm CST.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift the ways we connect with one another as it demonstrates the importance of access to accurate, real-time data and information.  These existing and emerging multi-sector networks can aid us as we try to solve complex issues like health inequity, systemic racism, and police brutality. We invite you to join us to share how you are maintaining connectedness with the communities in which you serve and the new ways you are engaging with others in times of crisis.

All In often says that the “wisdom is in the room,” meaning community leaders are the experts on their own work and lives and Network members learn as much from one another than from any formal presentation. As the COVID crisis continues, Listening Sessions provide those “rooms” virtually.

All In Listening Sessions are designed for communities to discuss issues, strategize responses, or vent constructively to a friendly, non-judgmental community of peers. Listening sessions aim to be loosely structured, audience-guided platforms for conversation.

If you enjoyed this content, consider joining an All In Affinity Group.

We encourage you to subscribe to the All In Newsletter to receive updates on programming, as well as join the All In Online Community!


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